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I need a hero story.

ptwert

Let me give you an idea of what I really enjoy.

Lady in Red series
My Journey well pretty much all of Xalir
Three Square Meals
Everything in the Smart Girls series
Redemption and Linda's Posse

I like a story with a protagonist that still needs improvement but will figure out how to win.
Genres aren't the big thing. I want a story with a plot. It needs to be well written.

Please folks help me find something new.

docholladay

@ptwert

I can think of several authors off hand that could qualify for that list with some of their stories.

Dual Writer has several in his "Florida Friends" series as well as his "Recluse and Ghost" story links are:

http://storiesonline.net/a/Dual_Writer
http://storiesonline.net/s/71089/recluse-and-ghost

Ernest has many stories which should qualify in fact too many to list separately. His SOL page is:

http://storiesonline.net/a/Ernest_Bywater

GoldenMage has several stories listed on his page. The incompletes will probably never be finished since he died a while back, shortly after the last update to one of his stories. His link is:

http://storiesonline.net/auth/GoldenMage

And those are just the tip of a huge list of writers and stories. I have many writers bookmarked who could qualify with at least a few of their stories.

Replies:   ptwert
ptwert

@docholladay

Thanks Doc.
I have read many things from both Ernest and Dual Writer. They do have some good writing.
I have not seen Golden Mage. I will check out his stuff.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@ptwert

I have not seen Golden Mage.


He died a few years ago, but I can not remember the date. After his death even though he had an open Universe (I think it was open), other writers stopped writing in it.

gruntsgt

Grim Reaper by rflj is one of my favorites

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@gruntsgt

and the sequel, it completed a day or so ago.

Replies:   sunseeker
sunseeker

@Vlad_Inhaler

sequel,,,,that's funny :)

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@sunseeker

sequel,,,,that's funny :)

Grim - the latest football match; it is hilarious though that condemns me in the eyes of one American

StarFleet Carl

@ptwert

I want a story with a plot. It needs to be well written.


Legacy of a Legend, by ... um, me. It definitely has a plot. And the main character is definitely a heroine. I'm going to (presuming I survive this month - I mentioned it in my blog) rewrite it so it's a bit more presentable.

Presuming you like swords, sorcery, dungeons, dragons, and lesbians ...

Replies:   ptwert
robberhands
Updated:

@ptwert

I like a story with a protagonist that still needs improvement but will figure out how to win.

Genres aren't the big thing. I want a story with a plot. It needs to be well written.

That's pretty much the synopsis of the story I currently post on SoL. Whether it's well written you'd have to decide on your own, as that's mainly a matter of your personal preferences. 'The Black Rabbit' is a story in progress, though, and maybe that's not what you're searching for.

However, in my previous story, 'Law of the Blood' the main characters had to learn and grow as well to beat their enemies. Doesn't every tale's protoganist need to improve to overcome his problems? Otherwise there wouldn't be much of a conflict and a conflict is the basic theme of every story.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  ptwert
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Doesn't every tale's protoganist need to improve to overcome his problems?


With sequels, apparently not.

I've been looking at a few and noticed that many/most have higher ratings than the original, although typically based on half as many votes, even though virtually all the major character development took place in the first story.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I've been looking at a few and noticed that many/most have higher ratings than the original, although typically based on half as many votes, even though virtually all the major character development took place in the first story.

The first two observations have no common cause with the third. The reason a sequel often or even mostly scores higher than the first book of a series is a result of its readers' self-selection. Only readers who liked the first book will read the second book in a series and thus the score of the story will be higher.

Your observation that the character development mainly is done with the end of the first book is a different and rather sad notice and not caused by anything else than the author's failing. I don't think it's an objective critique but more a general mourning sound, the kinds often raised within this forum.

Replies:   sunkuwan  awnlee jawking
sunkuwan
Updated:

@robberhands

But does it really matter for stories with an "epic length"?

I am more disgruntled with a story if the MC still has to do "growing up" after a million words. (except AWLL, that has great pacing)

Some of those rules of great writing that were written in stone, were for novel length stories. Where 100k words were considered massive.

- like "every aspect of the story has to advance the plot"
- and the "character has to grow up over the course of the story"

Many authors of epic length stories still take those two rules as word of law and butcher their >500k word story because of it.

Regardless if it is sex scenes or plot advancements, if you have one thing after another without worldbuilding or some slice of life elements, your story could fall into the trap of being seen as a checklist, of plotpoint after plotpoint with no breather in-between.

Sometimes just a little summary of what happened between these plot points would greatly enhance the worldbuilding and feel of the story. We are not bound by publishers and page-counts, so authors should fully explore the freedom they have in this medium.

robberhands

@sunkuwan

I am more disgruntled with a story if the MC still has to do "growing up" after a million words.

'Growing up' in the sense of becoming an adult is not the same as character development or improvement of a character. A character develops over the course of a story even if only in the recognition of the readers. He doesn't need to act like an immature imbecile just because the readers don't 'know' him.

Plot advancement is also just a phrase and as such a simplification. From my point of view, the 'worldbuilding' you promote is a necessary part of every story and I'd count it as a part of the generalization named 'plot advancement'. You're right, though, by strict definition I also wouldn't call 'worldbuilding' advancing a story's plot.

So I don't think we actually disagree.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Only readers who liked the first book will read the second book in a series and thus the score of the story will be higher.


I agree. And authors whose sequels score lower than the original should heed it as a wake-up call.

Your observation that the character development mainly is done with the end of the first book is a different and rather sad notice and not caused by anything else than the author's failing. I don't think it's an objective critique but more a general mourning sound, the kinds often raised within this forum.


How would you make it an objective critique?

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

'Growing up' in the sense of becoming an adult is not the same as character development or improvement of a character.


I mostly disagree. It's the whole point of 'coming of age stories'. Though obviously it doesn't apply to stories where the author has written the child protagonist as having the author's own attitudes and not those of a child.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

How would you make it an objective critique?

I wouldn't voice such a critique at all, that's the point. You can critique a particular story and even a negative view can be useful and constructive. Criticizing all the stories you've read doesn't serve any purpose at all. I don't know which stories you read, so I can neither agree or disagree with such an omniscient observation.

I mostly disagree. It's the whole point of 'coming of age stories'.

You're the first who mentions 'coming of age stories' in this thread. I was talking about stories in general.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

I'm trying very hard not to mention individual stories because my reviewing techniques are not compatible with this site.

I believe that any story covering a character growing into an adult is de facto a coming-of-age story - I was just supplying the obvious label.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I was just supplying the obvious label.

Then you applied a wrong label to my statement because I wasn't talking about 'coming of age' but about character development in general.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I've been looking at a few and noticed that many/most have higher ratings than the original, although typically based on half as many votes, even though virtually all the major character development took place in the first story.


That's a common event because the character was developed in the first story and the sequel is mostly a story about what he did after that. So it becomes a story of events not the main character's development.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I believe that any story covering a character growing into an adult is de facto a coming-of-age story - I was just supplying the obvious label.


I think you're essentially right in that. However, you can also run into issues with people's perceptions of what is a child and what is an adult, as well as what qualifies for every level in between. I've known 40 year-olds who were less mature than most 6 year-olds, but have also met 13 year-olds who were much more mature than their 30 year old parents.

I left school and started working at 16 years of age, I was 46 years old when I went to do some full-time college classes where most of the other students were aged from 19 to 24 years of age, and not a single one of them was as mature in their outlook and behaviour as I was at 16 before I left school. Mind you, I did start doing after school work of some sort when I was 13 years of age, and thus interacted with people at work for 3 years while still at school as well. You just can't draw a line and say that's it, people differ.

Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

Some of those rules of great writing that were written in stone, were for novel length stories. Where 100k words were considered massive.


I laugh at your 100K words. There are dead tree published novels over 1M words.

Here is a list of the 32 longest novels published by traditional publishers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_novels

The smallest novel on the list is 500K words.

#2 at 1.9M words was published in the 17th century.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


I laugh at your 100K words. There are dead tree published novels over 1M words.


Laugh all you like, most genres go by the values in the list at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count

which says 40K words and up is a novel. However, some genres deem anything in the 100K to 250K range an saga and anything above that as an epic.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

However, some genres deem anything in the 100K to 250K range an saga and anything above that as an epic.


Wikipedia is not the best source out there.

According to this: http://thewritepractice.com/word-count/

General fiction novels average 80K words

Science fiction averages 110K words.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

So you see a single blogger as being more important than Wikipedia. At least wikipedia gives you references they use for the material they post.

Also NaNoWriMo list 50K words as a novel size - that's a US National body promoting writing.

Some genres have a different size value because they expect the author needs more words to explain things further. Many publishers see 50K to 100K words as a novel, and some refuse anything above 100K words.

Averages aren't the deciding factor of what a novel size or genre size is, because for it to be the average there must be some below the number and some above it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

#2 at 1.9M words was published in the 17th century.


I bet that writer was no stranger to writer's cramp.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Averages aren't the deciding factor of what a novel size or genre size


True, but it is a factor when you are labeling something below the genre average as "massive" or "saga".

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

According to Orson Scott Card's MICE quotient, that means it's a different type of story. Is it fair to hit readers with a sequel that's substantially different?

Personally I prefer stories where the characters continue to grow and change.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

40K words and up is a novel


Crikey Carruthers, my work in progress is on the threshold of novelty!

It certainly doesn't feel like a novel :(

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Personally I prefer stories where the characters continue to grow and change.

As do I. A character who stopped evolving is dead meat.

JohnBobMead

@robberhands

A character who stopped evolving is dead meat.


They're at least boring as hell, once you desire something more than formula fiction. I should know, I used to have a complete collection of Doc Savage novels, as well as The Avenger. Absolute formula fiction, no set reading order other than publication date after the first couple were published. Well written for what they were, but I'd never make it through one today.

Grant

@ptwert

Genres aren't the big thing. I want a story with a plot. It needs to be well written.

Service Society by Lazlo Zalezac

ptwert

@StarFleet Carl

Thanks Carl I'll check it out.

ptwert

@robberhands

Both of them are stories I have thaught about starting.

Thank you
.

samuelmichaels

@robberhands

As do I. A character who stopped evolving is dead meat.


There are several genres, such as detective ficton, whete the main character is largely constant, but the puzzles (crimes to solve) change. After a while they become repetitive, but I have enjoyed quite a few mystery and adventure series (mostly written a few decades ago) with such an approach.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@samuelmichaels

There are several genres, such as detective ficton, whete the main character is largely constant, but the puzzles (crimes to solve) change. After a while they become repetitive, but I have enjoyed quite a few mystery and adventure series (mostly written a few decades ago) with such an approach.


The Ellery Queen and Nero Wolf series were both very good in that way. Dad was a big Nero Wolf fan, so I was exposed to them fairly early on, too young to fully appreciate them, I think.

I also enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman; I saw the movie they made from the first book as a double bill with Snow White at a drive-in when very young, so when I stumbled across the first book after graduating from high school in a bookstore and determined upon reading the description that it was the basis for the movie I dimly remembered from my early childhood, I purchased it and read it; since then I've collected the entire series, haven't read them in years, but still have them.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
samuelmichaels

@JohnBobMead

I also enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman


I read pretty much all of Gilman's books, including the non-Pollifax ones, and enjoyed most of them. That's a blast from the past.

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